One of our primary interests at AlfaBrides Dating is in inspiring women and men to be couple and family. But today I want to talk with you how to be happy, and how to lead a more productive, happy and engaged life.
Fortunately, we are living in an era when there is new science of happiness dedicated to helping people “train their brains” and intervene in their own lives in a way that creates feelings of increased resilience and positivity.
Do you want to figure out how to be happier in the new year? Here are some easy steps you can take, starting today
Examine Your Current Level of Happiness
How happy are you, really? How many days out of a typical week are you mostly content and positive and forward thinking, and how many days each week are you mostly dwelling on negativity or worrying or living in the past? Start a “happiness journal” to evaluate your overall level of happiness.
This could be as simple as marking on a calendar each day with an overall rating for how happy you felt that day (a plus sign for a good day, a minus sign for a bad day, or a zero for a neutral day) and making a few notes of what were the key moments in that day – what affected your mood each day, what happened in your life that was memorable in shifting your mood one direction or another?
After a few weeks, you should have a good sense of where your happiness level stands, and where it is coming from.
Change Your Mindset
There’s an old saying, that we cannot always control what happens to us, but we can control our attitude to what happens to us. Part of becoming a happier person requires us to retrain our minds for a mindset of greater positivity. Try to see the positives in other people and in yourself.
Forgive people who might have wronged you or let you down – intentionally or not, in ways large and small. Practice gratitude. Make a “gratitude list” of things in your life that you’re grateful for – try to add a few items to the list each day.
These could be big things like “my family, kids, my spouse or significant other or my friends” or small things like “my favorite mug that I drink tea out of in the morning” or “getting to go to the gym each day for yoga class” or whatever makes your life feel whole and happy.
What are the things that you look forward to each week? Who are the people that bring out the best in you? Cultivate a sense of gratitude and remind yourself of your blessings and gifts, and your overall sense of happiness will follow.
Put Happiness into Action
Smile more – make it a habit. People can tell when you’re smiling when you talk on the phone, and people will respond to that same sense of positive energy when they see you in person. When you happen to encounter negative people and negative situations, be confident and in control of yourself. Some of the happiest people are also the most powerful, because they have the power of self-control and self-mastery – they won’t let anyone drag them down.
Take on Challenges
In addition to the small steps each day like writing a gratitude list and smiling more, big changes in your happiness level often come from making big changes in your overall life. Challenge yourself to make one significant change in your life, whether it’s dropping a bad habit or letting go of a negative relationship or embracing a new healthy diet or fitness regimen.
What is one big goal you would love to be able to look back upon and say, “I did this?” Would you like to enter a contest, produce original works of art, save money for a vacation, or make a difference for an organization you care about? Think big, and set small goals to get the results you desire.
Take Care of Yourself
Healthy diet and exercise, sleep and self-care are very important to happiness. It’s hard to be happy if we’re not taking good enough care of ourselves. The road to happiness often starts by reclaiming our daily routine – turn off the TV and get away from the Internet well before bedtime.
Give to Others
Some of the happiest people in the world are also the most generous. Often the biggest way to improve our personal sense of happiness is to make other people happy by sharing our gifts. Giving doesn’t always have to be about financial philanthropy – no matter how much discretionary income we have, we all have the potential to volunteer, share, and give back to our communities and to organizations we value.
No matter what challenges we face in our lives just make a plan for how to be happier – and to create a happier world around us at the same time.